Founded in 2004, Akb Architects is the Toronto-based residential architecture studio of Robert Kastelic and Kelly Buffey, architects dedicated to the practice and art of building. The quest to capture the poetic and ineffable qualities of space manifests in Akb’s design process, which prioritizes a clarity of vision, attention to detail, and a rigorous commitment to conceptual intent. The work of the studio benefits from Robert and Kelly’s extensive training in both architecture and interior design; a comprehensive strategy results in buildings of exceptional resolution and an uncommon level of refinement. A unified and holistic approach to interior and exterior space merges building and landscape into a seamless experience, transforming the ephemeral into the tactile.

Elements of volume, light, proportion and materiality are orchestrated to resonate and respond to each project’s unique site, context and program. Compelling in their tranquility and quiet simplicity, the resulting buildings are warmly engaging, elegant and functional. Akb recognizes the importance of a collaborative process in maintaining an open dialogue with their clients, ensuring all needs and desires are met. Meticulous research, precedent studies and the deployment of current sustainability strategies enable the studio to fuse the practical and the abstract in an architecture that is creative, inspired and enduring.

Principals

Robert Kastelic

Principal

Robert Kastelic (B Arch, B ES, OAA, MRAIC) brings an exceptional understanding and appreciation for the craft of construction to the studio. He has an outstanding aptitude for detail design combining pragmatism with innovation and elegance. With a rigorous attitude toward research and a critical approach to design, Robert directs technical excellence within the studio where he leads the team with enthusiasm. Following his completion of a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, Robert received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo. Robert is a registered architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Kelly Buffey

Principal

Kelly Buffey (M Arch, B AA (ID), B A, OAA, FRAIC) drives the vision of the studio, conceptualizing the work with a distinct clarity for which Akb has become recognized. She has an exceptional aptitude for synthesizing client desires with design intent, harmonizing each project with thoughtfulness and innovation. With a discerning focus on the experiential qualities of architecture, Kelly leads a rigorous design process. Kelly received a Master in Architecture degree from the University of Toronto for which she was distinguished with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Honour Roll and the Toronto Architectural Guild Medal. She also received a highly awarded Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design from Ryerson Polytechnic University and a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University. Kelly is a registered architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Team

Aaron Finbow

Associate, Technical Lead

Aaron Finbow

Associate, Technical Lead

Aaron Finbow (BArch, OAA), joined Akb in 2014, bringing over 15 years of experience and skill in a diverse range of residential and institutional projects. Driven by a strong design sensibility and an astute ability to visually communicate spatial relationships and construction details through hand illustrations, Aaron can seamlessly resolve both design intent and technical complexity at various scales. He is well-versed in all aspects of project delivery, providing insight and a high-level of management through conceptual design, planning, coordination of consulting teams, construction documentation and contract administration. Aaron received a Bachelor of Architecture from Carleton University in 2001, graduating with high distinction and a position on the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Honour Roll. He is a registered architect with the Ontario Association of Architects.

Tim Wat

Architectural Designer, Interior Design Lead

Tim Wat

Architectural Designer, Interior Design Lead

Timothy Wat (MArch, BArch) joined Akb in 2015. He has a great appreciation for the value that architecture brings to everyday life, as explored through his education, research, and travels. His graduate research and architectural interests are focused on how ideas are embedded within space and material, and how these elements influence the everyday as our life-story unfolds within them. Tim is passionate about the social good of architecture, and he enjoys contributing to the making of spaces that foster positive and engaging experiences. Tim received both his degrees from the University of Waterloo where he was distinguished with the AIA Henry Adams Award for his outstanding research. He is an intern architect working towards licensure with the Ontario Association of Architects.   

Mark Ross

Architectural Designer, BIM Lead

Mark Ross

Architectural Designer, BIM Lead

Mark Ross (MArch, BENDS) recently joined Akb. With over eight years of experience with award-winning firms across Canada, he brings an exceptional commitment to design excellence matched by strong technical skills in building technology and project leadership. Since joining, Mark has contributed to the design development of several single-family homes in unique rural Ontario settings, by exploring simple and refined design solutions that integrate eloquently into their respective landscapes. Mark holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto, where he received a Faculty Design Graduation Award; and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of British Columbia, where he received the Design Merit Award in recognition of his high achievement and ability as demonstrated over the course of his studies at the faculty.

Duncan Patterson

Architect

Duncan Patterson

Architect

Duncan Patterson (MArch, BEDS, DipArchTech, NSAA) recently joined Akb, bringing eight years of experience designing critically acclaimed, custom residential homes that endeavoured to bridge the gap between the poetic and the practical. Raised between the city of Regina and his family’s cattle ranch in the hills of southern Saskatchewan, Duncan is guided by a creative disposition coupled with a lived, agricultural, pragmaticism. He enjoys the complex process of resolving conceptual ideas into tangible form as well as managing the collaborative development of each project.  Duncan has a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor or Environmental Design Studies from Dalhousie University, where he was awarded the Barry Johns Design Award and a position on the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Honour Roll for high academic achievement. He is a registered architect with the Nova Scotia Association of Architects.

Donald Peckover

Architectural Designer

Donald Peckover

Architectural Designer

Donald Peckover (BArchSc, LEED AP) joined Akb in 2020. He has over 13 years of experience working on single family homes including small off-grid cabins, challenging urban renovations, and spacious vacation retreats. His strong technical background is embodied by his practical eye for detail and a pragmatic sense of design.

Donald has always been drawn to the personal and warm characteristics of homes and residences, creating spaces where people want to live for many years. With each project he endeavours to optimize occupant health and comfort through the use of natural materials, passive design strategies, and sustainable technologies.

Donald has a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University and is currently studying with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Syllabus Program, a part-time online and in-studio program concluding in a professional diploma in architecture and path to licensure.

Antonio Morais

Architectural Designer

Antonio Morais

Architectural Designer

Antonio Morais (BArch) has over five years of experience in the Real Estate industry and brings a strong understanding of good practice and collaboration to his work. He has assisted many buildings through the process of achieving LEED certification and he believes sustainability is one of the most important factors for the future of the construction and architecture industry.

Since beginning his career, Antonio has gained experience in a variety of architectural niches including low rise office buildings, a 200-room hotel, a 5,800 sq metre retail building, and numerous logistical, industrial, and mix-use warehouses in a huge variety of sizes including multi-floor warehouses.

Determination and focus to his are some of Antonio’s strongest qualities. He is constantly looking to build connections and believes success is achieved by proactive and integrated teamwork. As an Akb member, he aims to contribute to the development of memorable projects by always exercising creativity and applying innovative solutions.

Antonio studied at Anhembi Morumbi University – a member of Laureate International Group – in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 

Heather Purcell

Chief Financial Officer

Heather Purcell

Chief Financial Officer

Heather Purcell (CPA, CMA, MBA) joined Akb in 2019 as a part-time CFO. She has over 20 years of experience leading finance teams in private and public businesses, primarily in the professional service and e-commerce space. Her focus is on building financial infrastructure to support growing project-based businesses and working with leadership teams to improve business performance.

Cecillia Long

Finance Manager

Cecillia Long

Finance Manager

Cecillia Long , BA (Hons), recently joined Akb bringing over 10 years of experience working in finance teams at independently owned advertising agencies. During this time, she has consistently been recognized for her strong service orientation, attention to detail, and ability to consistently execute. She loves building efficient processes while leveraging new technologies to improve the way finance teams and the rest of the business collaborate.

Cecillia has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto.